Bride of the Barrier Master Manga Keeps Its Story Strong
Image via Yen Press

Bride of the Barrier Master Manga’s Story Stays Strong

When we have these sorts of manga series where there’s someone who is the scrape goat and bullied, then picked as the one for a major, desired figure, it can sometimes feel like the moment ends after… well… they get together and married. With volume 2 of the Bride of the Barrier Master manga, we have a situation where Kureha and Odayaka provided enough additional motivating factors and situations to keep that story going and a reader invested.

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Editor’s Note: There will be spoilers for the first volume of the Bride of the Barrier Master manga below, as well as plot point overviews for the second.

So in the first volume of Bride of the Barrier Master, we ended up introduced to Hana and Hazuki Ichise. Both are magical practitioners, though Hazuki is considered the golden child due to seemingly being more powerful. The truth of it is Hana is the more powerful of the two, so much that she has three Shikigami spirits working alongside her and two are humans, but her abilities didn’t manifest until later. Because of that, the family prized Hazuki and ignored or abused Hana. But Hana was fine with that, because she wanted a normal life.

However, Saku Ichinomiya, head of the clan that keeps barriers up in Japan depending everyone against evil supernatural forces realizes her strength. He needs her assistance to repair and maintain one of the five Pillars, now that he’s head of the family and clan. This, in turn, means marrying her. So the whole first volume involved getting to the point where they meet and form an agreement. There was even a contract guaranteeing Hana a peaceful life and stipend so she could live carefree.

Given the nature of the arrangement, I went into the second volume expecting a bit more resistance to the marriage ahead of the ceremony. However, the Bride of the Barrier Master manga doesn’t dawdle or focus too much on that. The wedding goes smoothly. While Saku’s mother and brother don’t approve, we get to see their reactions and treatment change as they meet Hana. So already, one of the elements that might have dragged out the story in similar situations is largely resolved right away.

However, I really appreciated how the rest of the volume helped provide other reasons to keep the story compelling. One is the Ichinomiya Pillar itself. We see the two repaired it. Given the nature of these sorts of stories and the fact there are five others, it left me wondering if that could return as a plot point. After all, it’s a heavy burden on Saku and people like him. Not to mention Hana being as strong as she is could mean her help would be needed by others, now that she’s no longer hiding her power level.

We also get a chance to see what daily life is like for Saku and how he uses his practitioner abilities to aid others. Hana ends up involved in such a case. I’m not going to spoil it for those haven’t read this volume, of course. However, it does provide potential for Hana to grow as an individual. It felt like in the first volume that because of the treatment of her family and others, perhaps she saw her own skills as something to ignore so she could live peacefully. Her work with Saku makes me wonder if that could change a bit and we could see them grow to work together for the greater good.

Naturally, there’s also the developing relationship between Hana and Saku. We could see the two enjoyed sort of picking at or on each other in both of the initial volumes. Hana has someone who knows exactly who she is and accepts her for it. Saku has someone who treats him like anyone else and can properly support him. It’s really fun to read through their interactions and grow as a couple. Especially when both will exploit chances to gain ground to improve their own situations.

I really appreciate the Bride of the Barrier Master manga pacing and am glad it isn’t drawing out elements for the sake of drama. It could and still keep its excellent, sometimes comedic tone. But the way it is executing it allows Hana to be the independent, strong, and genuinely funny heroine she is, while also allowing us to see Saku and others appreciate her for herself.

Volumes 1 and 2 of the Bride of the Barrier Master manga are available now, and Yen Press will release volume 3 on November 19, 2024. Yen Press also handles the light novel outside Japan.

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Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.